The Photography Department is committed to and focused on the nature and meaning of photographic representation and its role in contemporary culture, and fully engaged in the creative possibilities of lens-based imaging.  For students pursuing an emphasis in photography, we emphasize hands-on learning: all students become skilled in chemical-based processes and digital technologies.  The photography labs include facilities for black-and-white photography, digital photography, alternative processes, with large-scale black/white and digital printing.  Students who complete an emphasis in photography have an understanding of the various processes in service to their voice, and are adept in the development of works that convey a personal style, and are confident in the presentation and defense of their finished works.  


Students will:

  • Understand and evaluate properly printed digital or darkroom prints, both technically and conceptually.
  • Become skilled in chemical-based processes and digital technologies as they relate to output and be able to produce print exhibition quality photographs and a portfolio.
  • Understand the complexities of all aspects of camera function and photographic outputs.
  • Manipulate a variety of photographic materials to serve the work and their vision.
  • Edit with artistic intent to create works that are personally and socially relevant.
  • Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation for both contemporary and historical works in photography.  

All emphases provide the following outcomes:

  • Understand basic design principles, particularly as related to their chosen emphasis.
  • Understand the place in which the emphasis exists within the history of art, design, and culture.
  • The ability to use materials, equipment, and library resources related to their study.
  • The ability to work competently within the studio environment, with knowledge of practices to ensure their safety.
  • The ability to demonstrate functional knowledge of basic business practices specific to their chosen emphasis.
  • Completion of a final project that demonstrates facility in the emphasis.




Joe Harjo - Chair, Photography
Joe holds an MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a BFA from the University of Central Oklahoma. He is a board member of the Muscogee Arts Association, a nonprofit organization that advocates for living Muscogee artists.  Recent exhibitions include CAM Perennial 2017: Memory and Landscape at Southwest School of Art and Homage at Blue Star Contemporary. He recently curated a series of Native American films at the Briscoe Western Art Museum.

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